Creativity & Bipolar Disorder

Dr. Sheri Johnson, Professor of Psychology and Director of the CALM Program at the University of California Berkeley, and mental health educator Victoria Maxwell discuss the relationship between creativity and bipolar disorder, how to maintain creativity outside of mood episodes, and answer questions from the TalkBD audience.

Hosted by Dr. Erin Michalak.

Dr. Sheri Johnson - TalkBD Bipolar Disorder Podcast

Dr. Sheri Johnson is a professor of psychology at the University of California Berkeley, where she directs the Calm Program. Her work has been funded by the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Science Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute. She has published over 200 manuscripts, including publications in leading journals such as the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and the American Journal of Psychiatry. She is co-editor or co-author of five books, including Emotion and Psychopathology and a best-selling textbook on Abnormal Psychology (Wiley Press). She is a fellow for Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT), the Association for Behavioral Medicine Research and the American Psychological Society.

Victoria Maxwell TalkBD Bipolar Disorder Podcast

Since being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, psychosis, and anxiety, Victoria Maxwell has become one of North America’s top speakers and educators on the lived experience of mental illness and recovery, dismantling stigma and returning to work after a psychiatric disorder. As a performer, her funny, powerful messages about mental wellness create lasting change in individuals and organizations. By sharing her story of mental illness and recovery she makes the uncomfortable comfortable, the confusing understandable. The Mental Health Commission of Canada named her keynote That’s Just Crazy Talk as one of the top anti-stigma interventions in the country.


Episode Highlights

A Surprising Reason How Bipolar Disorder Boosts Creativity
Questions and comments?

  • Good topic to cover. Mania not only boosts my creativity but expands my ability to appreciate and find deeper meaning from art.

  • Do you have theories about the fundamental neuropsychological basis for enhanced creativity in people with bipolar disorder? Clearly not in all people with bipolar disorder.
    In my experience this link to creativity is , highly fluctuating and dependent on mood state – depressed state limiting it the greater the degree of depression the more dampened the creativity is. I am well aware of other psychologists interest in this area – for example Professor Kay Redfield Jamieson.

    I look forward to the talk and discussion, with thanks for organising these events which are excellent.

Sign up for our newsletter

Be the first to learn about the newest talkBD podcast episodes and the latest in bipolar disorder news and research on CREST.BD’s mailing list.

talkBD is also available on all streaming platforms – subscribe now: